E-toll panel’s recommendations do not address the core of the problem

2015-02-06
Adv Anton Alberts

The FF Plus stated it clearly today at Gallagher Estate in Midrand where the E-toll panel discussed its findings under the leadership of the Gauteng premier, David Makhura, that the solution which the panel is offering, i.e. a hybrid funding model, is actually a luke-warm solution which will not be acceptable to all the residents of Gauteng.

Adv. Alberts, the FF Plus’ parliamentary spokesperson on Transport and provincial leader n Gauteng says the proposals merely imply that motorists will still have to pay e-tolls, but in accordance with another model.

According to Adv. Alberts, he had clearly informed the panel that these proposals do not fundamentally address the core of the problem, i.e. that the system does not have any political legitimacy as it is rejected by the majority of the residents of Gauteng.

He said it ignores the fact that the e-toll is a symptom of a greater problem and that is the levying of high taxes in exchange for poor or no service delivery by the state. The refusal to pay e-tolls is for the majority of people a way of sending a sign to government that they are unhappy about the way government manages taxpayer’s money or do not use it at all.

Adv. Alberts told the panel and representatives of the Gauteng provincial government that the approximately R30 billion lost every year to corruption and the approximate more than R30 billion lost due to fruitless expenditure and irregular expenses should be addressed rather than levying additional taxes such as e-tolls.

“If government was to combat only one year’s corruption, it would be capable of clearing Sanral’s debt. That is why we need to go back to the first principle of the Constitution which states very clearly that the state has to render equitable, transparent and effective quality service to the public.

“That obligation of the state is broken every day by ignorant and sly public servants while the ANC government’s steps to combat it do not bear any fruit. It merely gets worse every year,” Adv. Alberts says.

He said the Public Service Commission’s report and the Treasury’s oversight report on public expenses confirm these trends. The Institute of Internal Auditors of South Africa recently revealed that according to their research the ANC government had in the past twenty years allowed R700 billion to be wasted as a result of malpractices;.

“That is why the FF Plus says that morally there is no obligation on Gauteng residents to pay the e-tolls until government gets its house in order. The FF Plus, which is part of the toll gate action group, will coordinate with other organisations such as Outa, to increase the opposition to the e-toll system.

“The FF Plus also wants to call on voters to kick the ANC out of all city councils in the 2016 elections so that the FF Plus could, within an opposition coalition, declare a dispute over e-tolls with the Gauteng provincial government and with the national government,” says Adv. Alberts.

 

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